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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Maisto 1:43 Power Racer 2010 Honda Civic Si Coupe



One of the things that I do not like about today's economy is the lack of choices: In the US you walk into stores and seem the same Mattel brand Hot Wheels and Matchbox products.  Nice, but what about the others, especially when the Mattel brands lack anything new for a brief time?  Well, there's more out there, but unfortunately the brands seem to offer so little compared to what is offered elsewhere.  Tomica was a prime example of this as their US entry was only for a select few of many Tomica's that were sold in East Asia (i'll profile a few examples in an upcoming article).  Another one is the Maisto Power Racer series:  Selection was nonexistent, and now with stores like Wal-mart carrying them limited to only the same-old American vehicles and a few European and Japanese vehicles here and there (I have yet to run across another Wal-mart that carried the Power Racer 2014 Silverado that I found at one store before).  Look at the Maisto catalog on their homepage: it is fully-loaded with plenty of Power Racers, including a few that have never been seen in stores.  One prime example is the two Honda's, the Insight and this 2010 Civic Si Coupe, which are hot on the secondary market and can only be found in a few select countries.



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I was able to acquire this one from a person in Israel for a hefty price ($12.00 before shipping), but it was worth it because other versions when they appear on Ebay are much higher than the one that I paid for.  For a Power Racer brand that no one really values compared to a Hot Wheels car.  Wow!  I wanted this car because I used to work around these cars, though I prefer the 2006-2008 look of the Si to this 2009-2011 version, and I love the metallic orange paint.  The Si has been with the Civic brand for quite a while, but this version was revolutionary because it was part of the futuristic Civic line that debuted in 2006, revolutionary styling for a compact at the time, and the Civic was part of that line and not just a limited-production copy.  In fact, a sedan was offered alongside the coupe, and even after almost ten years in production the coupe and sedan are still offered after a couple of new generation Civic's!  Aside from unique body add-ons, rear spoiler, sport front seats and red accents, the prime of the Si was the 2.0L DOHC VTEC I-4 that produced 197 hp. through a six-speed manual only that had nice smooth throws.  The downside of this engine is that it was rather tightly packed in the engine bay and changing the oil filter requires long arms and lots of shop rags to keep oil off the subframe.




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This Maisto Power Racer version is by far the best-looking version of this Civic Si generation.  The metallic orange paint pops out in sunlight while hides in cover in darker light.  The front has the slanted headlights, black grille with Si logo in red, and lower bumper with foglights and scoops.  The face does seem to be a bit flat-faced, then again it's much better than the sloppy detailing job of th e Greenlight 1:64 version.  The sides show off the flowing roofline, VTEC badges, and nicely-done double 5-spoke wheels.  The rear has the decklid rear spoiler, painted taillights, Civic and Si badges, Si license plate, and a nice touch on the silver exhaust tip.  Per the usual with Power Racers, the base shows nothing new and the rear seat is pushed forward to accept the pullback motor for the rear wheels.




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Even with the rear seats pushed forward Maisto still had room to detail the rear speaker and tray under the rear window.  The front seats are nicely done with the correct bolsters, seat fabric pattern, and even the Si logo on the backrests.  The dashboard has the correct two-level gauge layout with detailed controls for the mirrors on the left of the steering wheel, the radio and HVAC controls in the center (surprisingly no navigation system), the center console, and the parking brake handle next to the properly-executed shifter details.  Then again, being so used to the Kinsmart and Welly proper packaging it would be nice to see detailed inner door panel pieces and door hinges that don't fill up the footwells and prevent the proper pedal details.




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Overall not the best but then again there's not many competition for a stock version of this Civic Si generation, most of them either tuned up or sloppy on details, and given the rareity of this casting it will be a popular one for years to come with no end to the higher prices.


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